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Thread: Is it legal to open carry while river rafting in Washington state?

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    Regular Member jsanchez's Avatar
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    Is it legal to open carry while river rafting in Washington state?

    I think the coast guard has some rule about not carrying a gun while on a licensed boat, but my friend and I took a two man raft down a river here in WA and was wondering if I did carry a gun if it was illegal?

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    I have been known to carry a pistol while kayaking Lake Whatcom. Boomboy has witnessed this action. At a later date I will be able to give BATF a list of the weapons I have lost while doing so.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsanchez View Post
    I think the coast guard has some rule about not carrying a gun while on a licensed boat, but my friend and I took a two man raft down a river here in WA and was wondering if I did carry a gun if it was illegal?
    Sure.... Just like the DOT says no guns on a truck driven by a CDL holder right?
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsanchez View Post
    I think the coast guard has some rule about not carrying a gun while on a licensed boat,
    No such. Guns on boats are only a factor when crossing into another Country's waters. More than one fisherman carries a firearm or two on board to dispatch any fish that's too nasty to try and board while still alive. Halibut is one of those.

    Also, the Coast Guard does not have any jurisdiction over non navigable waters like rivers too shallow for larger boats. Rafts aren't under their purview.


    As the saying goes, "Carry On". BTW, a good water resistant lube is highly recommended, even if you're carrying a Glock
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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    No such. Guns on boats are only a factor when crossing into another Country's waters. More than one fisherman carries a firearm or two on board to dispatch any fish that's too nasty to try and board while still alive. Halibut is one of those.

    Also, the Coast Guard does not have any jurisdiction over non navigable waters like rivers too shallow for larger boats. Rafts aren't under their purview.


    As the saying goes, "Carry On". BTW, a good water resistant lube is highly recommended, even if you're carrying a Glock
    what about state lines? If I have a yacht registered in Seattle, and I cruise on down to Los Angeles am I breaking the law by having my evil black rifle and "people hunting" 30 round magazines locked in the hold?
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    what about state lines? If I have a yacht registered in Seattle, and I cruise on down to Los Angeles am I breaking the law by having my evil black rifle and "people hunting" 30 round magazines locked in the hold?
    Once you're in CA waters, ie a port or marina then yes. It's no different than having it under the back seat of the car while driving around the state.

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirpuma View Post
    Once you're in CA waters, ie a port or marina then yes. It's no different than having it under the back seat of the car while driving around the state.
    well that's interesting, because if you're traveling internationally you're under the flag of the United States and thus subject to US law..... from what I understand if you're carrying guns aboard a boat and make a port call in Canada customs will simply hold on to your guns until you leave.....

    it seems the feds... while CCW reciprocity is an issue, should at least fix the whole issue about guns aboard boats.... ironically it truly would be an interstate commerce issue....
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    ....... ironically it truly would be an interstate commerce issue....
    While closer, I still disagree. Unless you are buying or selling or trading, it's not commerce. Mere possession of your own equipment would still be only in the purview of the state where you are currently doing the possessing.

    That said, I also believe a marina reached through navigable waters from other states or international waters should be off-limits to the state until you take something off the boat. Of course, US law would apply once inside US territorial waters.
    Last edited by MAC702; 05-07-2013 at 01:58 PM.
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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    While closer, I still disagree. Unless you are buying or selling or trading, it's not commerce. Mere possession of your own equipment would still be only in the purview of the state where you are currently doing the possessing.
    does the "Flag of California" offer protection at sea? does your passport say "I am a citizen of the state of Nevada"? no it doesn't.

    If you're on a craft... like a 60 foot yacht, that's documented as a United States vessel flying a U.S. Ensign for the purposes of legal protection on the high seas, then it would follow as being under congress's purview to supercede state law in saying you can keep US legal firearms legal under federal law on your vessel, provided they remain on your vessel.
    Last edited by EMNofSeattle; 05-07-2013 at 02:15 PM.
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    does the "Flag of California" offer protection at sea? does your passport say "I am a citizen of the state of Nevada"? no it doesn't.

    If you're on a craft... like a 60 foot yacht, that's documented as a United States vessel flying a U.S. Ensign for the purposes of legal protection on the high seas, then it would follow as being under congress's purview to supercede state law in saying you can keep US legal firearms legal under federal law on your vessel, provided they remain on your vessel.
    I didn't imply otherwise.

    Your actual point is one which I already agreed with, but noted the "Commerce Clause" is not the reason.
    Last edited by MAC702; 05-07-2013 at 09:40 PM.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    My point wasn't that it would be illegal to travel between the states with firearms that are illegal in California, but once you pull into a California marina you are then subject to the laws of that state. While the chances of marina police wanting to search your vessel are slim, technically you would be violating California law by the possession of the firearm the same as if you were driving through the state and had them in your car. The stowage hold on a vessel is accessible from inside, unlike the trunk of a car. Frankly I tend to avoid the state.

    As far as international travels go, once again as soon as you pull into a marina or port of that country you are subject to their laws. How they would then treat your firearms is up to them. I don't know if their customs would require a search of your vessel or only of the stuff you take off of it.

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    does the "Flag of California" offer protection at sea? does your passport say "I am a citizen of the state of Nevada"? no it doesn't.

    If you're on a craft... like a 60 foot yacht, that's documented as a United States vessel flying a U.S. Ensign for the purposes of legal protection on the high seas, then it would follow as being under congress's purview to supercede state law in saying you can keep US legal firearms legal under federal law on your vessel, provided they remain on your vessel.
    The key word is "documented". River rafts (OP) are not documented vessels

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    Regular Member jsanchez's Avatar
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    Guess I didn't break any laws then,not counting the fashion laws, and had a great time on the river.
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    Last edited by jsanchez; 05-08-2013 at 03:52 AM.

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    Regular Member jsanchez's Avatar
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    So if my friend and I rent a yacht and sail down to Malibu, and anchor 100 yards off the beach. Leave are assault rifles on the boat, locked in a gun safe and swim into the beach, we are legal?

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsanchez View Post
    So if my friend and I rent a yacht and sail down to Malibu, and anchor 100 yards off the beach. Leave are assault rifles on the boat, locked in a gun safe and swim into the beach, we are legal?
    You'll still be in waters subject to CA jurisdiction. Any local "Marine Patrol" like wildlife officers, state patrol, county, etc would have jurisdiction in "Local Waters".
    For the most part, waters within 3 miles of the coastline are considered "Inland Waters" and State Laws can be enforced within this zone.

    Of course any law enforcement would still have to have probable cause to board and search for your evil rifles and hi-cap mags. Suspected smuggling or illegal fishing is usually good enough for CA officers.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    Regular Member Lammo's Avatar
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    I don't know about all this. Sounds like a set up for a "tragic boating accident." :-)
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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lammo View Post
    I don't know about all this. Sounds like a set up for a "tragic boating accident." :-)

    "Sir can you please explain how this boating accident was tragic"

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    from what I understand if you're carrying guns aboard a boat and make a port call in Canada customs will simply hold on to your guns until you leave.....


    LOL! Yeah I'm sure that's true . . .

    Why would clearing customs and immigration in Canada be any different when you arrive by boat?

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